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November Unemployment Rate Drops to 2.9%

BOSTON — The state’s total unemployment rate dropped to 2.9% in November, marking the fifth consecutive month the rate declined, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported Thursday.
The last time the state’s unemployment rate was at 2.9% was in January 2001. The unemployment rate in October was 3.3%.
In November, preliminary estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate Massachusetts added 5,800 jobs over the month.  BLS slightly revised the October job estimates, reporting the state loss 5,400 jobs as opposed to the previously reported 5,500 job loss estimate. Year-to-date, December 2015 to November 2016, Massachusetts has added 67,200 jobs.
Massachusetts’ unemployment rate has remained lower than the national rate since April 2008. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the national rate at 4.6% in November.
At 2.9%, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is down 2.0% over the year from 4.9% in November 2015. There were 68,100 fewer unemployed residents and 108,400 more employed residents over the year compared to November 2015.
“We are very pleased to see the unemployment rate consistently go down month after month,” said Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald L. Walker, II. “Not only is the unemployment rate declining, but we have continued job growth in key sectors that drive the Massachusetts economy.”
In November, over-the-month job gains occurred in the financial activities; professional, scientific and business services; construction; information; ‘other services’; education and health services; and local government sectors.
The state’s labor force participation rate — the total number of residents 16 or older who worked or were unemployed and actively sought work in the last four weeks — is 64.7%, down 0.2 of a percentage point over the month.  Over the year, the labor force participation rate has increased 0.1 of a percentage point compared to November 2015.

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